When a motorist’s negligent behavior causes an accident in Ohio, the at-fault driver must pay for the victim’s economic and non-economic damages. Victims who may be entitled to compensation include drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
Though getting just compensation following a car accident is never easy, victims have several ways to collect damages, including filing an insurance claim or a lawsuit. You do not always need to file a lawsuit, however. You can read on to find out more about when you need to file a lawsuit to recover damages from a car accident in Ohio.
Filing a Claim Against the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance
The good news is that many car accident cases settle out of court because most victims first seek damages by filing a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance provider.
Many insurance companies attempt to lowball victims, and the process may be lengthy. However, with the help of a car accident lawyer on our team, this can be an effective way to get compensation for your losses.
For a free legal consultation, call (614) 538-1116
When it is Time to File a Lawsuit
If a negligent driver has policy limits that do not cover your damages, then victims will have to file personal injury lawsuits to collect compensation.
Filing a Lawsuit Before Time Runs Out
In Ohio, there is a statute of limitations for filing personal injury cases. In general, injured parties usually have two years from the date of their accidents to file lawsuits against the legally responsible parties (per Ohio Revised Code (ORC) §2305.10).
It is vital that victims understand and abide by this statute of limitations. Victims who do not file lawsuits promptly may lose their opportunities to get compensated for their injuries, suffering, and other losses. Victims who fail to meet the deadline can expect to be turned away by the Ohio court system.
Damages Car Accident Victims May Collect
Negligent drivers are responsible for paying victims all damages, which may include:
- Medical costs
- In-home nursing care
- Ongoing occupational and physical therapy
- Lost earnings
- Lost future income if you cannot return to work
- Home modifications if the accident caused a permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
If you work with our team, we can tell you more about how you can seek compensation after a car accident in Ohio.
What Happens when Car Accidents Involve Uninsured or Underinsured Drivers
Unfortunately, things get much more complicated if the car accident victim was involved in a crash caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. In Ohio, all drivers must carry liability auto insurance—but despite this law, many motorists drive without insurance.
If you were in an accident involving an uninsured or underinsured motorist, you may have to use your own uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance coverage to get compensation for all your damages. However, if you do not have this optional type of auto coverage, you must file a lawsuit against the negligent driver.
If a lawsuit must be filed to recover damages from a car accident in Ohio, a court may order the at-fault driver’s assets to be seized or his wages garnished until the victim’s damages are paid in full.
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Steps to Optimize Compensation
To increase your chances of collecting maximum compensation, there are several steps you should take following a car accident, including:
- Document the scene by taking photos and witness information.
- Obtain a police report.
- Seek appropriate medical care.
Getting medical attention even if you do not have obvious injuries is especially important in car accident cases. Whether you file a claim with an insurance company or file a lawsuit, defendants may try to argue your injuries or medical conditions were caused by something other than the car accident because you did not seek immediate care.
How We will Build Your Car Accident Case in Ohio
After you’ve been in an accident, you may not want to have to deal with the legal details of seeking compensation. You can focus on recovering from your injuries while our team manages all aspects of your claim or lawsuit for you, including:
Proving the Value of Your Case Based on Evidence
We can gather evidence of your injuries through medical reports, doctor’s testimony, other expert testimony, and more. We will prove the full extent of your injuries and losses.
Identifying and Proving who was Responsible
In order to seek compensation, we will work to show that the other party was primarily responsible for your accident.
Pursuing the Full, Fair Amount You Deserve Through Negotiations
We will handle the back and forth communications with an insurance company and negotiate on your behalf.
Throughout the process of your case, we will also keep you updated on any progress or changes and advise you on your legal options. If we cannot seek fair compensation through an insurance claim, we may recommend that we take your case to court.
You don’t have to be alone after an accident. Instead, allow our firm to fight to seek damages for your injuries as well as pain and suffering. We can help you determine liability, negotiate with insurance companies, file any necessary paperwork, and protect your rights.
Handling the Most Complicated Aspects of a Case for You
Some cases may seem more straightforward than others. However, if you run into the following common complications in a car accident claim or lawsuit, you may find our help invaluable:
- Multiple parties are liable for your accident.
- A municipality, rideshare company, or trucking company is liable.
- The insurer claims you were more responsible for the accident than you were.
- The insurance company refuses to make you a fair offer.
- Your statements are taken out of context or manipulated to reduce the value of your settlement.
We can help you counter unfair insurance practices and ensure that the appropriate party is held responsible for your accident.
Get a Free Car Accident Case Consultation
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries following a car accident, you do not have to try and navigate the system on your own. The process can be confusing, overwhelming, and lengthy, and those who do not know the law can feel outmatched.
Call Bressman Law to discuss your car accident case in Ohio. We are passionate about pursuing justice for victims and their families and fighting for fair compensation. Contact us today if you have any questions about whether you need to file a lawsuit to recover damages from a car accident in Ohio and/or for a free, no-obligation case review.